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1.1 Procedures--Admission

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Queensland University of Technology

Admission ―Advise X‖ → focus on positives & possible courses of action to maximise chances of admission Significance Cannot engage in legal practice unless an ―Australian legal practitioner‖: s24(1) LPA (300 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment) Legal practice  Not defined in the LPA—Q for the courts  Clearly includes— o Litigation  litigation in a court  procedural steps in relation to litigation  Preparation of pleadings and other papers in relation to litigation o Advisory  Drawing up contracts  Drawing up transfers of interests in land and other property  Advising on legal rights and legal obligations either before or after the event o Conveyancing: Re Sande [1996] (occupation of conveyance exists in SA—S came from SA, asked to be admitted under Mutual Recognition Act & Supreme Ct Act which recognised existence of occupation  could not be admitted)  Grey areas o Giving advice regarding tax liability (legal or financial advice) o Use and development of resources, including land (legal rights or duties/planning) o Family law issues (welfare of the child = legal or sociological or psychological issues) Australian Legal Practitioner Must— 1. be admitted to the legal profession: s5(1) 2. hold a current practicing certificate: s6(1) 3. hold professional indemnity insurance: s353(1)-(2) 4. contribution to the fidelity fund: s368(1) Procedure  Apply to QSC to be admitted: s34(1)  QSC considers application however it seeks fit: s35(1)  QSC makes orders o Accept: s35(2)(a)  May impose conditions— s35(3)  may vary or change conditions: s36(2)(a)  may strike off if fail to observe conditions: s36(2)(b) o Refuse: s35(2)(b) Recommendation of the Board  Can rely on recommendation made by Board: s35(4) o Role of Board is to make recommendation on each application to the QSC: s39(1) o Board may ask applicant for information to determine recommendation: s40 o Board entitled to appear before the QSC on an application for admission: s41 The roll  Kept by Supreme Court: s37(1)  Person‘s admission takes effect when they sign local roll: s37(4)  Person becomes officer of the QSC once they are admitted: s38(1)  Person ceases to be member of the legal profession if name removed from roll: s38(3) Andrew Trotter LWB433 Professional Responsibility Eligibility: s30 (1) A person is eligible for admission to the legal profession under this Act only if the person— (a) is a natural person aged 18 years or more; and (b) has attained approved academic qualifications or corresponding academic qualifications; and (c) has satisfactorily completed approved practical legal training requirements or corresponding practical legal training requirements. Must— 1. have attained legal majority: s30(1)(a) 2. Graduate from law degree: s30(1)(b)  ―Approved academic qualification‖ = approved under admission rules: s30(2)  ―Corresponding academic qualification‖ = equivalent in other jurisdiction: s30(2) 3. Finish PLT: s30(1)(c)  ―Approved practical legal training requirements‖ = approved under admission rules: s30(2)  ―Corresponding legal training requirements‖ = equivalent in other jurisdiction: s30(2) Suitability: s31 Test—―Fit and proper person‖: s31(1) (A person is suitable for admission to the legal profession under this Act only if the person is a fit and proper person to be admitted)  Maximise chances—Get character references | relevant reports | rehab courses etc  Investigate further into past (eg if punishment seems harsh for conviction, etc)  Come up with explanations for conduct Suitability matters (s31(2)(a) (listed in s9))  Generally whether able to satisfactorily carry out requirements of lawyer: s9(m) Plagiarism ← Good fame & character: s9(a)  Repeat instances of academic misconduct without remorse → deny: Re Liveri (plagiarism— several incidents | failed to disclose  shows lack of insight → admission refused, to reapply at a later date)  One-off instance of academic misconduct → delayed admission: Re AJG  Failure to fully disclose—more significant than collusion itself o Late disclosure: Re Bell [2005]; Re Liveri o Seeking to minimise: re OG, a lawyer [2007] (accused of collusion, mark of 0—passed subject with 51%--friend wanted to disclose at admission but OG said no need as never referred to board as formal incident—friend disclosed & admission refused ↔ OG didn‘t disclose & was admitted  tried to blame friend | courts expect that all sins, even old ones, are disclosed: at [123] → struck off) o Blaming on others: re OG, a lawyer  Differing approaches—  Lenient approach—Focus on intent: Re Humzy Hancock [2007]  Harsh approach—Strict liability: de Jersey CJ in Re AJG Contempt for Court System ← Good fame & character: s9(a)  Displays of contempt for court system—threats to court officers etc: Re Bell [2005] (threats to officers of court in affidavits | unresolved allegation of contempt of court | public claims about court system (gov pro-paedophilia) | failure to comply with QSC order to readvertise intention to seek admission  refused || also failure to fully disclose | bankruptcy | 12 breaches of DVOs)  Breaches court orders: Re Bell [2005] (Domestic violence orders)  Groundless allegations: Wentworth  Falsifying evidence: Singh  Taking money from prisoner to stand in bail application: Bacon  Vexatious litigation: Wentworth (feminist suing judges) Andrew Trotter LWB433 Professional Responsibility o False allegations of sexual assault: Vic Lawyers v X  Not Guilty Plea is NOT dishonesty as not a statement of fact—entitled to put Crown to proof Current or previous insolvency: s9(b); Re Bell [2005] Indiscretions  Improprieties, in another profession—if reflecting on character: Re Hampton [2002]  Criminal Conduct ← Convictions: s9(c) o In Aus or elsewhere o Consider nature, how long ago, age when committed o Inappropriate dealings with female nurses: Re Hampton (also failed to disclose → admission refused) o May not prevent admission where—  so remote that irrelevant—eg if acquitted: Del Castillo (2001) (tried & acquitted of murder of friend—did not disclose  admitted anyway—so remote from legal practice that irrelevant)  Minor & not premeditated: Ziems  Traffic offences or theft: Davis o May not deny admission—classic example of Debbie Kilroy (drug trafficking, sisters inside, order of Aus, Human rights medal, 40 character refs incl ex gov, SC judges) o Stealing: Davis (also failed to disclose)  Improperly engaging in legal practice: o In Australia  Not admitted: s9(d)(i)  In contravention of condition of admission or suspension of PC: s9(d)(ii)&(iii) o In a foreign country  Not admitted: s9(e)(i)  In contravention of condition: s9(e)(ii)&(iii)  Breach of trust accounting laws: s9(j) Punishments & Investigations  Generally—Subject of unresolved complaint, investigation or charge: s9(f); Re Bell [2005] (contempt of court)  Other profession or country—Subject of disciplinary action: s9(g)  Legal o Removed from roll elsewhere: s9(h) o Suspended from practice: s9(i)  Firm—supervisor, manager or receiver appointed re legal practice: s9(k)  Disqualification from employment or being a partner or managing incorporated legal practice: s9(l) Not grounds for refusal  Depression not a ground to refuse in itself: S v Legal Practice Board of WA (2004); Skerritt  Alcoholism may not be a ground to refuse—but conditions may be imposed, eg AA meetings: XY v Board of Examiners [2005]  political outlook, race, colour, religion or otherwise: Julius (sold communist literature  not sufficient to prevent admission) o unless would indicate that they would break the law: Re B [1981] (journalist with contempt for law—evidence showed that would break the law if she thought it was unjust  refused admission) Passage of Time & Youth  Can indicate rehabilitation: Re Owen (2 x burglary—at ages 25 & 27  time → admitted)  Especially where taken out of that environment of poor conduct: Lenehan (worked as clerk at firm where stealing commonplace—minor misappropriations 25-28—now 45  admitted) Andrew Trotter LWB433 Professional Responsibility  ↔ where experienced—may not get admitted: Cohen (director—criminal & bankrupt history—got barred—tried to become lawyer  not admitted) Discretion  to take into account other matters: s31(2)(b) (other matters that the Supreme Court considers relevant)  to admit despite a suitability matter: s31(3) (the Supreme Court may consider a person to be a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession under this Act despite a suitability matter because of the circumstances relating to the matter) Early Application to Board Application to the Board
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